The European grapevine moth  Lobesia botrana



Lobesia botrana  (Totricidae, Olethreutinae) was firstly described from Austria , but originated from Southern Italy and immigrated troughout Europe, North and West Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Russia. It was more recently introduced into Japan, and in 2008 it was first reported in Chile. 

Grape (Vitis vinifera) and spurge laurel (Daphne gnidium) are preferred hosts, but it has also been reported on blackberry (Rubus fruticosus), gooseberry (Ribes sp.), black and red currant (Ribes nigurm), olive (Olea europaea), cherry (Prunus avium), prune (Prunus domestica), persimmon (Diospyrus kakis), kiwi (Actinidia chinensis), pomegranate (Punica granatum), carnation (Dianthus spp.), and a number of other wild hosts.

 In May and June, first-generation larvae web and feed on the flower clusters. Second-generation larvae (July-August) feed on green berries. Young larvae penetrate the berry and hollow them out, leaving the skin and seeds. Third-generation larvae (August-September) cause the greatest damage by webbing and feeding inside berries and within bunches, which become contaminated with frass (excrement).Additionally, feeding damage to berries favours  infection by Botrytis and other secondary fungi such as Aspergillus, Alternaria, Rhizopus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.

Biology and Life Cycle
The adult moth is approximately 6-8 mm long, with a wingspan of 11-13 mm. The female is slightly larger. Both males and females have similar mosaic-patterned wings. The first pair of wings (forewings) is tan-cream in color, mottled with gray-blue, brown, and black blotches. The second pair of wings is gray with a fringed border. The wings are held in a bell shape over the abdomen when at rest. The female lay their eggs seperately.

Eggs are elliptical and flat, approximately 0.6-0.8 mm in diameter. These lentil-shaped eggs are visible and iridescent creamy white, turning yellow as the embryo develops and later black when the head of the developing larva is formed.

There are five larval stages. The first stage is about 1 mm and the last stage about 12-15 mm in size. Larvae are whith with a black head and they turn to yellowish brown and the body takes the colour of their nutrition (gut content). The  fifth last larval instar spin a grayish silidon cocoon to pupate. The pupa is about 4-9 mm long.

In our climatic zone the European grapevine berry moth has two to three generations per year. Four generations are reported from warmer regions of Spain, Greece, Egypt. The pupal stage overwinters inside the silikon cocoons (diapause) under the bark or in soil cracks or on hidden, protected places. When air temperatures increase above 10°C for about 10 to 12 days Adults hatch. Firsty males are found and after one week the female hatch. So the first male flight may start as early as bud break and the flight continues for about 4 to 5 weeks. Flying activities are when sun rises and temperatures are about  12°C. During the flight the insects mate and the majority of femals just mate once. Egg laying activities start shortly after mating (about one to two days). They deposit the eggs singly on or near the flowers. A female lay about 100 eggs and adult life for 1 to three weeks depending on the climatic conditions.

In spring egg hatching takes 10 days or more, while in summer eggs hatch within 3 to 4 days depending on the temperature conditions. The first generation larvae web on flowers and feed on them, they may enter the peduncle and cause the bunch to dry up. Larval development needs about 20 to 30 days depending on weather conditions. Then they pupate under the bark or in soil or on the flower and adults emerge again 6 to 14 days after.

The second- and third-flight female moths lay eggs individually directly on shaded berries. Shortly after the larva emerges it enters a berry and hollows it out as it feeds. A single bunch may be infested with several larvae. Webbing, frass, and fungal infection may result in extensive contamination of the bunch.

The lower threshold for development is about 10 °C and the  upper developmental thresholds  is 30°C. . Optimal development conditions are  between 26-29°C and 40 to 70% humidity. If day length decrease and it is getting coller the diapause stage get initiated. Larval stages die when   temperatures fall below 8°C,  but the diapausing pupa can withstand even the cold northern European winters.

The first generation is shorter than the summer generations. Eggs hatch in about 66 degree-days Celsius (DDC). Larvae feeding on flower clusters are reported to develop faster than those feeding on grape berries later in the season, and this influences generation time. Nondiapausing pupae require about 130 DDC to develop. Adult females may lay eggs about 61 DDC after emergence.

Estimates of DD for a generation vary considerably in the literature, from 427 DDC to 577 DDC in the first generation to 482 DDC to 577 DDC  in later  generations.



                Monitoring  and management 
Males are attracted by pheromones , which is used to monitor male flights. Before bud break, place  traps with L. botrana lures high in the canopy. Place at least one trap per 30 acres or per vineyard block if smaller. Change lures according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Check traps weekly, recording the number of moths caught and removing trapped moths from the sticky trap bottom. Plot the weekly catches to determine initiation and peak of male flights in each generation. Continue monitoring with traps until the peak of the third flight.

Insecticide applications should be timed for larval emergence, thus monitoring egg laying and determining egg hatch are essential to management of this pest. For the first generation, egg laying should be monitored from the peak until the end of the flight. Search for eggs on the peduncle of 100 clusters, selecting one cluster per vine. Note the stage of the majority of the eggs found. Eggs are white when recently laid, turning yellow and later black when larvae are near emergence. A translucent egg chorion indicates the larva has emerged. After egg hatch, look for webbing of flower parts. Open up the webbing and look for feeding damage and larvae.

Begin monitoring for second- and third-generation eggs on berries one week after the first moths of the respective flight are caught in the traps. Continue monitoring for eggs weekly until one week after peak flight. Inspect 100 bunches, selecting one per vine. Continue monitoring bunches for feeding damage (holes or hollow berries), webbing, and presence of larvae.

In countries where L. botrana is established, control measures are targeted at the second generation. This is due in part to the prolonged emergence of the first generation and because of possible reinfestation from untreated neighboring vineyards. However, treatment of the first generation is recommended if populations are high or if treatments are conducted on an area-wide basis.Insecticides are less effective after bunch closure.

Several reduced-risk insecticides are registered for use in grapes to control tortricid larvae. These include insect growth regulators, spinosyns, and Bacillus thuringiensis.

Mating disruption has been studied in Europe for several years. It has proven most effective when grapevine moth populations are low and when applied to large areas of over 10 acres or areawide.

Numerous predators and parasitoids are reported in the European literature. Among the parasitoids are 4 species of tachinid flies and nearly 100 species of parasitic wasp in the ichneumonid, braconid, pteromalid and chalicidoid families. The parasites that are reported to cause the greatest impact are those attacking the overwintering pupa. In Spain these include the pteromalids Dibrachys affinis and D. cavus, which are reported to cause up to 70% pupal mortality, whereas in Italy the ichneumonids Dicaelotus inflexus and Campoplex capitator are the most important.

Details are given at the homepage of Image Image

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Detailed literature
Briere JF, Pracros P. 1998. Comparison of temperature-dependent growth models with the development of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Environ. Entomol. 27: 94-101.

Coscollá Ramón R. 1981. Algunas consideraciones sobre la dinámica poblacional de Lobesia botrana Den. Schiff. en las comarcas vitícolas valencianas. Bol. Serv. Plagas 7: 169-184.

Coscollá Ramón R. 1998. Polillas del ra

Armendáriz I, Campillo G, Pérez-Sanz A, Capilla C, Juárez JS, Miranda L. 2007. La polilla del racimo (Lobesia botrana) en la D.O. Arribes, años 2004 a 2006. Bol. San Veg. Plagas 33: 477-489.

cimo (Lobesia botrana Den. Y Shiff.). In Los parasitos de la vid, estrategias de proteccion razonada. Madrid, Spain. pp. 29-42.

Del Tío R, Martínez JL, Ocete R, Ocete ME. 2001. Study of the relationship between sex pheromone trap catches of Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) (Lep., Tortricidae) and the accumulation of degree-days in Sherry vineyards (SW of Spain). J. Appl. Ent. 125: 9-14.

Gabel B, Mocko V. 1986. A functional simulation of European vine moth Lobesia botrana Den. Et Schiff. (Lep., Torticidae) population development. J. Appl. Ent. 101: 121-127.

Gallardo A, Ocete R, López MA, Maistrello L, Ortega F, Semedo A, Soria FJ. 2009. Forecasting the flight activity of Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller) (Lepidoptera, Torticidae) in Southwestern Spain. J. Appl. Entomol. 133: 626-632.

Louis F, Schmidt-Tiedemann A, Schirra KJ. 2002. Control of Sparganothis pilleriana Schiff. and Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff). in German vineyards using sex pheromone-mediated mating disruption. Bull. IOBC/WPRS 25: 1-9.

Maher N. 2002. Sélection du site de ponte chez Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae): influence de l’infromation chimique non-volatile présente sur les fruits de plantes hôtes. Thése N° 968, Université de Bordeaux 2. pp. 204 (PDF).

Maher N, Thiéry D. 2006. Daphne gnidium, a possible native host plant of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana, stimulates its oviposition. Is a host shift relevant? Chemoecol. 16: 135-144.

Masante-Roca I, Anton S, Delbac L, Dufour MC, Gadenne C. 2007. Attraction of the grapevine moth to host and non-host plant parts in the wind tunnel: effects of plant phenology, sex, and mating status. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 122: 239-245.

Milonas PG, Savopoulou-Soultani M, Stavridis DG. 2001. Day-degree models for predicting the generation time and flight activity of local populations of Lobesia botrana (Den. & Schiff.) (Lep., Tortricidae) in Greece. J. Appl. Ent. 125: 515-518.

Moreau J, Benrey B, Thiéry. 2006. Grape variety affects larval performance and also female reproductive performance of the European grapevine moth Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). Bull. Entomol. Res. 96: 205-212.

Sáenz-de-Cabezón F, Maron V, Zalom F, Pérez-Moreno I. 2005. Effects of methoxyfenozide on Lobesia botrana (Den & Schiff) (Lepidoptera: Torticidae) egg, larval and adult stages.

Thiéry D. 2008. Les Tordeuses nuisibles à la vigne. In Les ravageurs de la vigne. Féret, Bordeaux. pp. 15.

Torres-Vila LM, Stockel J, Roehrich R, Rodríguez-Molina MC. 1997. The relation between dispersal and survival of Lobesia botrana larvae and their density in vine inflorescences. Entomol. Exp. Appl. 84: 109-114.

Xuéreb A, Thiéry D. 2006. Does natural larval parasitism of Lobesia botrana (Lepidoptera: Torticidae) vary between years, generation, density of the host and vine cultrivar? Bull. Entomol. Res. 96:105-110.

Zangheri S, Briolini G, Cravedi P, Duso C, Molinari F, Pasqualini E. 1992. Lobesia botrana (Denis & Schiffermüller). In Lepidotteri dei fruttiferi e della vite. Milan, Italy. Pp. 85-88.